LONDON and ARMONK, NY – 19 Jul 2017: Borsa Italiana, part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced they are building a blockchain solution to digitize the issuance of securities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. Designed to simplify the tracking and management of shareholding information, the new system intends to create a distributed shared registry containing a record of all shareholder transactions, helping to open up new opportunities for trading and investing.
“Through our work with IBM on this blockchain solution, Borsa Italiana is taking the lead in transforming the way European SMEs can manage their shareholder data and at the same time expand credit access – all on a trusted digital platform,” said Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO, Borsa Italiana.
The blockchain solution for unlisted SMEs in Europe is designed to replace the paper trading certificates that are commonly issued to private companies today. With a more digitized, streamlined and transparent process enabled by the blockchain solution, various parties – including issuers, regulators and investors – will have increased insight into company information.
Traditionally, private SMEs lack access to public stock exchange networks or formalized credit structures. With this solution, SMEs in Europe can better access credit and link into a broader and more mature investor ecosystem, enabling them to set up new trading networks and obtain funding by sharing financial data in a security-rich and transparent public arena. By implementing the blockchain solution, Borsa Italiana is taking the lead in transforming how private companies can exchange and bring transparency around shareholder data and expand credit access.
“LSEG is testing the use of blockchain technology in a financial business network where data segregation and confidentiality is vital. By working with IBM, a pioneer in building enterprise-class blockchain solutions, we are committed to building, testing and scaling our capabilities in emerging technologies over time,” said Chris Corrado, Group COO and CIO, London Stock Exchange Group.
Built on Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, a blockchain framework and and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation, the system is designed to help ensure that highly sensitive securities data can be shared amongst permissioned network participants while remaining secure and gated. This blockchain solution, developed in collaboration with IBM, is built on highly secure infrastructure technology that provides the highest levels of encryption commercially available. The solution is also built to achieve interoperability with LSEG’s existing systems, promoting efficiency and business continuity.
“Sharing secure and transparent critical network data across shareholder networks is difficult using traditional system,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. “Blockchain is poised to help remove some of these barriers in traditional methods for the transfer of value – much as the Internet did for the exchange of information in the late 1990s.”
The solution is undergoing an initial test phase with a small group of partners and clients.
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